England!

Well I think it’s fair to say that a lot of my time in England was spent being reasonably lazy. The rest was spent by a few trips to see friends and my brother, watching West Ham, a reasonably long day hike and the odd visit to nearby towns with my parents. It is the last of these that is the first real thing of note I did in England. On the Monday after I got to England my parents and I went and explored Dedham. I had been once before, with my parents and some friends, when I was reasonably young, but other than remembering the name of the place I could remember very little about it so it was like visiting somewhere new. It’s a very nice little village but the highlight was probably seeing some weird ducks. I forget what they are but I do know that they’re not native and that they haven’t spread far from where they were introduced in northern East Anglia. Perhaps if my parents read this they’re be kind enough to remind me what there were. Anyway there’s various photos both of them, other ducks and the village.

Two days later we were off to Woodbridge, somewhere neither I or my parents had been to before. I think it’s fair to say that all three of us were a little disappointed even if we did enjoy ourselves. Highlight of the day was probably seeing a dog playing in the river although, again, I enjoyed taking some photos of birds as well as trying to be arty farty with a grave yard. That Friday I hired a car for a week and saw an old school friend, his other half and their kid in the evening. For some reason the kid still seems to like me, but maybe that’s just his general good nature. Well I assume he’s good-natured as he always is when I see him!

Saturday saw me going to watch a West Ham game along with my mum, dad, brother and sister-in-law. This was the first West Ham game I had been to since I watched them get defeated by Swansea in Swansea while I was at university for the first time. It had been even longer since I had been to a home game. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time – no doubt helped by us, unexpectedly, beating Tottenham (a fellow London team) two-nil. It seems likely that it will be the last time I got to go to Upton Park before West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium and I’m pleased the day went so well. That evening we all headed back to my brother’s for Indian food thus rounding off a brilliant day. What with the combination of seeing my family and West Ham it was definitely the best day of my trip back.

Sunday was meant to be a nice but not stunning day so I decided to go for the longest hike since I twisted my ankle – a whole twelve miles. Turns out they were wrong as it came out really nice. Normally 12 flat miles wouldn’t be that much for me but I knew I’d lost some fitness over the previous months and although I got it done OK it also was no where near as easy as it would have been before my ankle. On the positive side I doubt I’d have managed it all even a couple of months before so things are on the up. Photos are here.

Monday morning sure me driving up to the Peak District to see old friends. I spent the afternoon with one friend and then the evening having dinner with another four friends. I had a great time catching up with friends but other than that there wasn’t anything particularly blog worthy to report. Tuesday I was going geocaching with another old friend. It was really nice to have a proper catch up as I hadn’t managed to catch up properly with Sarah the last few trips and it was nice to be doing something out and about with her for the first time in a long, long time. I also got a couple of cool photos of a swan and took plenty of other photos, including several of Sarah trying to fit through a small hole in a wall – some things never change!

After geocaching I drove up to Leeds to catch up with more friends and to stay the night. These were the last friends I was planning on seeing and although it had been a manic two days it had also been very enjoyable. The next day I didn’t have anything to do to that evening when I planned to catch up with my brother again so I spent the morning in the Derwent Valley before spending lunch time and early afternoon walking along Frogatt edge. I even managed to solo one route before the rain got too heavy. Photos are here and here.

After having a bit more of a catch up with my brother I returned to my parents for my last few days in England. A couple more things worthy of note happened. First the Women’s Tour – a cycle race – was finishing very near my parents and I managed to grab a few photos, although dinner meant I missed the leaders. And second my parents and I went and explored Wivenhoe. The weather wasn’t looking that great and we almost didn’t go but I’m glad I did as I really enjoyed walking around the town and the weather just about managed to stay good. Surprisingly enough I took some more photos.

Well that just about brings my time in England to an end. On the Sunday I flew back to Canada and spent the night in an airport hotel before driving up to Wolfville, picking up the keys to my new apartment and starting back at work. More on all that in my next post.

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